Humble Calling

Humble Calling

Ephesians 5:21 (NIV) Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Submission is a commandment of God given out of reverence for Christ. An act of humility far from human nature and often misunderstood. It is important to not ignore the call of God on our life to submit, but to fully embrace it and learn to live by it. Submit to one another. The world might tell us that it is a weakness. However, according to scripture, it is a powerful alignment with God and His Word. To submit means to give over or yield to the power or authority of another. The Greek word “hypotasso” gives in more in depth meaning to the believer. It means “under God’s arrangement” or to place in alignment with His Plan and Purpose. Our life lived in alignment with the Lord allows Heaven to come to earth. It is the gateway by which Kingdom outcomes are possible over human impossibilities.

“Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.” The same connotation of the Greek word is used in I Peter 2:18 that is used in Ephesians 5:21. Submission is not necessarily to those who are worthy but in all situations of authority. If you are subject to a person who is given authority over your life, submission is the choice made to remain subject to and under the power of the person. Notice that the position in I Peter is to the “slave” not the “servant”. A slave is under the authority of the master and must be subject to them. However, we are servants of the Living God by choice. Submission is a choice. It is the humble giving our life to Jesus Christ. To reverence Him in every interaction.

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV) Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

It is important to read God’s Word in context. Follow God’s Example as dearly loved children. God’s example to us is Jesus Christ. The Word made flesh to demonstrate a plan incomprehensible and illogical outside of faith. A King who put down His Crown to come to die for His People. To make a way for those who rebelled against it in the first place. To restore right standing and release the Spirit of adoption to us. Jesus submitted to God’s Authority out of love for us. We submit to authority out of love and reverence for Christ. To walk in love, one must submit their life to others. It is the only way. To give up our life as “a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Submission is to take our divinely ordered place in a relationship. You cannot force submission it is an offering and sacrifice of our life that can only be made by the individual. Joseph understood the importance of submission. When taking captive by the Midianites, sold to Potiphar, falsely accused, sent to jail, forgotten for years and even in the house of Pharaoh – at any time Joseph could have rebelled against the unjustness of his treatment and difficult circumstances but instead he humbled himself before the Lord. In each position, Joseph served God by serving others. When his brothers came before him, he forgave them. He did not withhold anything from them but wept in joy at seeing them again. The same ones who threw him in a pit to die. Forgiveness is a form of submission. It is also a requirement of God.

Romans 13:1-5 (NIV) Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

The authorities that exist have been established by God. The last election for the President of the United States was downright nasty. I have many friends who are no longer friends on social media because of the ugliness and riotous rants being posted. It doesn’t matter who you voted for. The day after the election the person in power is God’s Elected Authority. Now before you decide to shut me off, leave the page, or sent me an outrageous opinion, I believe that all presidents are divinely appointed. I believe that once in office as a citizen of the United States and a believing Child of the Living God it is my duty to submit and pray for them. My faith, trust and hope is fully invested in the Lord so it really doesn’t matter who God places in authority over me as long as I remain in alignment and full submission to God and the authority who He has chosen for His Purpose. I must remain in submission to remain in alignment with God. I know this is hard to grasp but let me set forth some ideas.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 – God has a predesigned plan for my life that includes a future and hope. If I seek Him wholeheartedly, I will have every single promise and spiritual blessing ordained for my life. My hope and future are not dependent on the authority and power in this life but my willingness to live a submitted life in accordance with God’s Word, Will and Way.

Romans 8:38-39 – Nothing can separate me from the Love of God. I live in service to the Living God. My full expectation is that the Love of God will overpower any injustice or insecurity that I experience. In other words, God is in control of my life including the authorities over me. God changed the heart of Pharaoh to let His People go – I serve the same God.

Romans 8:28 – If I believe that God works all things together for my good because I love Him, it includes every power and authority that governs my life in the natural. Submission to God is to live under His Arrangement. At no point in time do I believe that God every set down His Authority or Sovereignty but rather has ordered every single moment of life for my good and His Glory.

When submitting our life to the Lord, it becomes our service to submit to all authority and power placed over our life rather chosen or prescribed. To end this debate scripturally, “whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.”

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

”Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10) I encourage you to read the story of Joseph. His journey is a wonderful example of humility. It is to choose forgiveness over bitterness. We are not to do anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Pride tells us otherwise. We have a right to our opinion. However, as Children of God it is His Truth that is the seed of all prosperity in our life. To grow, develop and mature into the masterpiece He calls us to be requires submission like clay in the potter’s hands.

I Peter 5:5-7 (NIV) In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Humble yourselves under God’s Mighty Hand…that He may lift you up in due time. God has promised to make all things beautiful in His Time. We cannot fathom God’s Work from beginning to end so we must trust Him. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Eternity is in our heart. It is our purpose and destination. It is accepted through humility beginning with His Grace. It is lived in humility by loving Jesus and others more than ourselves. Rather than fighting authoritative power it is our humble calling to submit to all authority AND be like Jesus Christ. Submission is reverencing Christ and His Selfless Sacrifice. Am I better than Jesus? Do I have the right to rebel? No, it is my privilege in Christ to submit to mankind in this life in order to live in alignment with eternity. I am given the opportunity every day to live reverently for the Lord by humbly serving and submitting my life to others. This is the life each of us is called to live in Christ. It is to put all my expectation in the Lord and cast all my cares with it. Trusting the Lord will always require submission. There cannot be two masters in our life. We serve the Lord by serving others.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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Need an Alignment – A Devotion

John 6:35-38 (Message)

Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.

 

Confession is good for the soul but not so good for my automobile when one admits that they hate car care. The inconvenience of maintenance is a problem for me. In the age of ten-minute oil changes and other fast service, it would seem that would satisfy the need enough to encourage one to stop by and get the old grocery-getter serviced before heading back to parent pickup, but not for me. Getting gas is a bother as I wish that I could just plug my car in at night and zoom away in the morning. However, without proper maintenance the vehicle that I use can become quite dangerous. When an automobile stops working traveling seventy miles-per-hour on a crowded highway, things tend to get a bit squirrely. With age and maturity combined with some bad experiences and costly mistakes, I have learned the importance of maintaining the family car. Every passenger who chooses to ride in it is depending on me to insure that it is well-cared for and fully operational. A costly mistake learned has been regarding tire alignment. Unless one hits a curb or pothole creating a vivid pull to the right or left while steering, many times this important factor is ignored in car care. The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind. Ignoring one’s tires causes two major concerns. The first it can be a costly mistake financially as it prematurely wears out one’s tires which causes immediate danger if not fixed prior to failure. It also affects control of the automobile which is an obvious problem when operating a vehicle at a high rate of speed in the midst of oncoming traffic. However, alignments are expensive. Not quite the cheap maintenance such as an oil change or tire balancing, it requires a bit more time as well. People do not have time or so they think until they are stranded on the side of the road.

 

As Christians, there are times when we ignore the warning signs of misalignment with the Lord. Slowly drifting to one side of life or the other, either backsliding into old habits or creating religious ones which are seemingly harmless until we find ourselves stranded in sin. Alignment with the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imperative for successful holiness in one’s life. Traveling through life any other way leads to weariness and strife, as well as, an out-of-control or not Spirit-controlled choices that will leave on the side of the road. Jesus said that the person who “aligns” with Him will never be hungry or thirsty again. Life with Jesus Christ is satisfying. Are you satisfied today? Dissatisfaction is a clear indication that you are not aligned with the Lord. It does not mean that there is a huge problem in your life but merely a warning that you are drifting a bit from your partnership with the Lord. Nobody wants to believe that there is a real problem when we fall victim to the deception of sin but rather call it a bad choice or an honest mistake but it is a warning sign that something is amiss. It is a call for a life realignment with Jesus Christ before the devastation of unrighteousness and disobedience cause a costly error or broken heart.

 

John 6:39-40 (Message)

“This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.”

 

Though a car may seem complicated to a novice, it is primarily constructed the same way over and over with minor adaptations between makes and models. It is not an independent creation each and every time. There are instruction manuals for safe operation and preventative care. God has One Will for His People. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Will of God. What is the Will of God? It is a question many believers ask each and every day in their pursuit of the Lord and His Righteousness. Life offers so many choices and freedom makes it hard sometimes to see through all the options to the only solution. God handed everything over to Jesus Christ to align His People into one body – the Body of Christ. He wants every single man, woman and child to accept Jesus Christ for who He is – the Son of the Living God who died for the sin of all mankind and was raised from the dead on the third day who lives eternally with God making intercession for the Body. By doing so and truly believing in His Son, they will enter real life. This belief should cause an alignment with God’s Will and the search will end. Those who truly believe these things will see an immediate impact in their life. Suddenly satisfied Christians will fill the churches across the world and reach out to the surrounding nations because they will cling to Jesus Christ. Dependency on God through Jesus Christ is admittance that only the Lord is able to properly complete the rest of our life as we step into Eternity. Not one detail of your life is more important than walking in right-standing with the Lord. There is no worry or care that is more influential than faith when our trust is in Jesus Christ. The Lord will daily maintain a believer’s existence from primary needs to overwhelming emotional needs to every spiritual need that arises without any effort from us. If only my car had a Savior, like I do!

 

Psalm 63:5-8 (NLT)

You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.

 

Are you satisfied today? Could it be your life is a bit out of alignment? It is really an easy fix with Jesus – just cling to Him. Put the Lord in every thought and plan. Move closer to Him especially when you feel the farthest. Press in closer and closer never giving up your faith and trust in the Lord. He is working out all the details of your life because that is the Will of God in action for you. As long as Jesus is your Partner, you will remain in alignment with God’s Purpose and Plan because He cannot stray from His Promise. Jesus lives to do the Father’s Will both now and forevermore. When your mind drifts, pull it back to His Word. When your heart is weak, lean fully into Jesus and He will be your Strength. His Spirit will guide you through life if you will only relinquish control. Slow down. Spend time in His Presence. Let the Lord maintain you! He will satisfy your soul today in the midst of circumstances, bad choices and all opposition. Need an alignment…grab hold of Jesus and never let go!